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Accessed on 27 September 2019, 0345 UTC.

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LATEST BLOG POSTS

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Fungus-Farming Ants Might Hold the Secret to Fighting Drug-Resistant Microbes

By Nathaniel Scharping | September 26, 2019 4:22 pm

Leafcutter ants carry vegetation to their nests. The species farm fungi for sustenance. (Credit: Ivan Kuzmin/Shuttestock

In 2017, a woman in Nevada died from a fairly common bacterial infection, Klebsiella pneumoniae. Her death wasn’t the product of medical oversight or inattention; rather, it came despite it. Her infection proved resistant to every antibiotic drug doctors threw against it, NPR reports. They ultimately exhausted 26 different drugs — the bacteria was resistant to every sing …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINETOP POSTS

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Intense Stress Might Hurt Our Cells’ Ability to Make Energy, Study Finds

By Jillian Mock | September 26, 2019 1:00 pm

(Credit: Alliance Images/Shutterstock)

For many, stress is an all-too familiar emotion. It can come from daily challenges, like juggling work and child care, or major life events, like getting divorced or losing a loved one. We all experience this stress differently — some people can’t sleep, others stress eat, and still others develop debilitating anxiety.

But our bodies may be responding to stress on a deeper level. Chronic stress and anxiety could disrupt how our cells produce ener …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINETOP POSTS

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Plastic Tea Bags Release Billions of Microplastics Into Every Cup

By Anna Groves | September 26, 2019 12:40 pm

Tea bags made of plastic can release billions of microplastics into our bodies. (Credit: AnikonaAnn/Shutterstock)

There’s a new trend in tea — out with the old, flat paper tea bags and in with the pyramid-shaped mesh bags that allow bigger leaves extra breathing room. The bags, which have been around since at least 2006, are sometimes called “silken” sachets. They can be made from hemp, corn-based plastics, nylon or PET (polyethylene terephthalate). But most often it’s one of the l …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINETOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: PERSONAL HEALTHPOLLUTION

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Too Much Exercise Can Tire Our Brains Out, Too

By Leslie Nemo | September 26, 2019 11:14 am

Working out too intensely for too long can cause our brains to become fatigued. (Credit: Flamingo Images/Shutterstock)

For years, the National Institute of Sports, Exercise and Performance (INSEP) in France had been studying an unusual phenomenon. If an athlete’s workout regiments were ramped up, it didn’t always lead to a better performance — even if that athlete felt like they were working harder than before.

The organization called this phenomenon overreaching, and knew what th …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: MIND & BRAINTOP POSTS

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Astronomers Just Watched a Black Hole Shred a Star

By Eric Betz | September 26, 2019 10:45 am

This artist’s illustration shows a black hole ripping a star into a thin stream of gas that then slams back into itself, causing a bright shock that astronomers detected earlier this year. (Credit: Illustration by Robin Dienel/Courtesy Carnegie Institution for Science)

A
NASA spacecraft built to find alien planets just spotted a star getting
shredded by a black hole.

Scientists used NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to capture the unfortunate sun getting torn apart in …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: BLACK HOLES

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Ordering Birth Control Online is Just As Safe As Going to the Doctor

By Jennifer Walter | September 25, 2019 5:25 pm

Scientists studied whether online contraceptives were as safe as those from a doctor. (Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

Contraceptives are more accessible than ever. And online services are making it easier for women to purchase hormonal birth control without ever having to set foot in a doctor’s office.

But nixing the clinic visit and ordering pills online might seem like an option that’s too good to be true. And not all is pristine in the world of telecontraceptives: in April, t …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: HEALTH & MEDICINETECHNOLOGY
MORE ABOUT: SEX & REPRODUCTION

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With Bugs and Algae, One Million People Could Live in Mars Colonies

By Erika K. Carlson | September 25, 2019 5:02 pm

(Credit: NASA/JPL/Malin Space Science Systems)

In the science fiction novel and movie The Martian, a stranded astronaut survives more than 500 days on Mars by growing potatoes. A permanent human settlement on Mars would need to do much better. And according to a computer model created by planetary scientists, that’s actually an attainable goal. With the right food sources, we could grow a million-person population on Mars that doesn’t depend on food shipped from Earth in about a hundred  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: SPACE & PHYSICSTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: MARSSPACE EXPLORATION

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Genetic Deep Dive Helps Explain How Whales Evolved to Become Aquatic

By Nathaniel Scharping | September 25, 2019 1:00 pm

Whales, dolphins and other cetaceans underwent numerous physiological changes as they transitioned from the land to the sea. (Credit: Carl Buell, John Gatesy)

Life began in the oceans, and for hundreds of millions of years, that’s where it stayed. It took our deep ancestors eons to crawl, flop and gasp their way onto land. It turned out to be a pretty good decision, all told, as those creatures found a brand new world to inhabit. The ancient pioneers eventually led to mammals, including us � …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: EVOLUTIONOCEAN

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Thousands-of-Years-Old Baby Bottles Reveal How Ancient Infants Were Fed

By Jillian Mock | September 25, 2019 12:00 pm

Two Late Bronze Age feeding vessels dated to around 1200– 800 BC. (Credit: Katharina Rebay-Salisbury)

Ancient pottery is helping scientists learn how prehistoric parents fed their infants.

A study of tiny clay pots with small spouts discovered at archaeological digs reveals that the vessels were likely used as milk bottles to feed babies. The specialized pots have long been found at sites around the world, and scientists have speculated that they may have been used to feed children or  …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: LIVING WORLDTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: ARCHAEOLOGY

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Saving Earth’s Oceans Could Offer One-Fifth of Needed Emissions Reductions

By Leslie Nemo | September 25, 2019 9:40 am

Earth’s oceans are a powerful tool when it comes to mitigating climate change. a new report argues. (Credit: NASA)

A future where climate change is taken seriously everywhere — where batteries trump fuel tanks and forests stay intact — is easy to picture. But for too long, ideas of a sustainable planet have focused on what we can do on land, and not planned for what the ocean could help accomplish.

That’s the argument put forth by the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean E …

CATEGORIZED UNDER: ENVIRONMENTTOP POSTS
MORE ABOUT: OCEANSSUSTAINABILITY
Our evolutionary ancestors had no chins. So why do we need them? https://t.co/ujviEtptry
6 examples of how Einstein’s general theory of relativity has stood the test of (space-)time. https://t.co/QIc0mJ9Z4z
The oldest life on the planet still has a few secrets. https://t.co/DqJ5obdGnd
From the vault: An ancient harbor on the Red Sea proves ancient Egyptians mastered oceangoing technology and la… https://t.co/UkxxoGFnsA
Over the past 10,000 years, human evolution has occurred a hundred times more quickly than in any other period in o… https://t.co/DXk6pJjB5X
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